So you’ve fallen in love with the artsy side of being a “creative.” Now, how the heck do you get people to pay you for something other than exposure?
Use these 6 marketing secrets to build up your photography business and attract your ideal clientele.
Want to get paid for doing what you love? Take a look at these 6 fool-proof marketing tools and how you can use them to market your boudoir photography business.
What Is Organic Marketing?
Organic marketing will always be a favorite technique because it’s totally free! And it is by far the most genuine way to connect with potential clients.
Organic marketing is all about connecting with your contacts! Don’t be afraid to directly engage with your potential clients. After all, they’ll soon be baring it all to you, the creative. Take the first step and lead by example.
Social media marketing is one of the most popular ways to organically connect with clients. Whether you’re sharing sneak peeks in a Facebook group or posting curated content on other platforms, post with purpose.
How Do I Use Organic Marketing?
It’s essential that you have a game plan that drives potential clients into inquiring. Ultimately, your organic marketing should lead your contacts from inquiring to booking a session with you.
One marketing mantra I love is Gary Vaynerchuck’s “ jab, jab, jab, right hook.” In essence, he teaches us that we need to be interesting and unique and provide value to our potential clients far more often than we need to shove our offer down their throats.
Here’s a rule of thumb. If you can’t gain your client’s attention with free, organic marketing, imagine how hard it will be to push them toward an investment.
If you want to attract your client’s attention – and keep it – provide them with valuable content they’ll love. Give guides on what to wear for different types of photo sessions, offer a posing guide or selfie tips, and show your expertise behind the camera with exclusive cameos.
As creatives, we often hide behind our artistry, but if you want to build your ideal clientele, you have to step out from behind the lens. Focus on “jabbing” and “right-hooking” those potentials into high-paying clients!
How exactly do you do that? Let’s look at some key ways to market your photography business on specific social media platforms.
VIP Facebook Groups
Facebook is perhaps the most-used social media platform of 2020. Can you imagine how many Facebook users you can reach through your private Facebook group?
While it’s best to integrate paid advertising with your Facebook account, Facebook VIP groups are a great tool for us as creators to build rapport and engage with current and future clients behind the scenes.
Creating a VIP Facebook group is a great way to get potential clients to say, “Yes!” to your brand. Your group members have the opportunity to learn how you run your business – but most importantly, they have a direct, intimate connection with you, the creative.
Share Your Virtual Business Card
Share your artistic process in your VIP Facebook group and showcase your personality! Include how-to tips, work exposés, and client testimonials. You can even show your VIP members how you create your albums, what your studio looks like, or what projects you’re working on.
Your VIP Facebook group is your virtual business card and if played right, a significant tool for successful marketing.
Once you’ve created your VIP group, increase your member numbers by adding friends. Some of the best additions are friends of your best clients. Like-minded people often run in the same circles and referrals are liquid GOLD in our business.
Instagram was literally built for us photographers! It’s simple and easy to market on Instagram, where photo and video content thrive. The ability to follow, connect with and directly message anyone, plus the popular trends and hashtags make it almost effortless to grow your photography business.
Get In The Hashtag Game
Hashtags are a useful tool when it comes to marketing on Instagram. You’ll want to establish a hashtag for your brand and use consistent connecting hashtags for your session types and activities.
When creating your hashtags, ask yourself, “What are my ideal clients into? Are they moms? Do they like Starbucks? How about luxury lingerie?” Put your brand name in their line of sight by using relevant hashtags on your posts and stories.
I like to think of this as hacking the plumbing and powerlines of a well-built home. Catch a free ride on the similar-interest express!
When using Instagram to market to your potential clients, your goal isn’t just to gain followers – it’s to build fans. Your brand fans should love your brand and see the vision.
Let’s say you have 10-15 fans that like and comment on everything. You know the ones who are always in the comments vouching for you and your brand? Their hype makes your brand stand out and keeps your posts trending. They’re also the most likely to share your posts and drive followers your way.
This consistent behavior increases your presence with the social media “wizard of oz” (otherwise known as the algorithm), but it’s also another great social proof hack that will help turn your interested contacts into booked clients.
Get In Their Heads
Another smart tactic? Prep your content!
In other words, figure out what your ideal clients’ biggest questions or pain points are and speak directly to them. For example, “I don’t know how to pose sexy,” or “I don’t have anything to wear for my session.”
Once you’ve addressed those pain points or questions, give your contacts an opportunity to join your journey by linking your Facebook VIP group or your Instagram page.
What Is Paid Marketing?
Paid marketing uses paid platforms like Facebook and Google Ads to reach a broader audience than organic marketing and gather leads for your sales funnel.
While organic marketing is all about directly connecting with your contacts, paid marketing is all about reaching the largest, most targeted audience in the easiest way possible.
How Do I Use Paid Marketing?
Just like with organic marketing, you need a game plan for your paid marketing strategy. Your paid marketing should pique your contacts’ interest and guide them through your sales funnel.
Advertise with anything that attracts attention to your brand. Testimonials, behind-the-scenes looks, special content, and social proof are perfect for paid marketing. Create content that matters to your clients and market it with purpose.
Let’s take a look at the best paid marketing platforms out there and how you can use them to hook your ideal clients.
Pixel & Analytics (A Must-Have!)
Before we get into paid advertising, let’s talk about the single most important component of paid marketing – Facebook Pixel.
When you visit my website, an invisible marker is attached to your browser. This is called a Pixel, and it’s a little invisible tracker that follows you around the web.
Ever notice how when you shop for a pair of shoes one day, the next day you log into your Facebook account and boom! those same shows are right there? Yup. That’s the magic of a Pixel.
The greatest perk of a website pixel is that it allows you to create and collect data on your potential clients. Your Pixel gives that raw data to your marketing platforms (like Facebook and Google), which then use the data to target similar web users. You can also manipulate this data to target users for specific ads.
For example, imagine a web user navigates to your contact page but doesn’t fill out the form. The Pixel collects that data so that you can target that specific user with an ad that urges them to take action.
Are you starting to see that power of the Pixel? And they are FREE! Go right now and set one up – the sooner, the better.
Google Analytics works similarly in that it provides you with the data you need to optimize your web pages. Google Analytics tracks how long potential clients stay on your various web pages, how many web pages they view at a time, and which links and buttons they click on. From there, you can trim the fat and drive your client to what converts.
Google & Google Ads
Google (a.k.a. the magic unicorn of the internet itself) is how everyone searches for everything.
Google Ads are a super smart way to market yourself on the world’s largest search engine. If you optimize your marketing resources, you can rank high on search engine results and be featured on Google when someone actively searches for brands like yours or related search terms.
Try this. Go to Google, search “(your city) boudoir photographer,” and see what pops up. Don’t you want to be that first search engine result? YES, I know you do!
With Google Ads, you can do just that.
That said, there is a bit of a learning curve with this one. I recommend learning about Google Ads before you go throwing around money and expecting tons of return.
One great resource is The High Rollers Club Facebook group. Check them out! You’ll thank me later.
Like Google Ads, Facebook Ads are a great tool to expose potential clients to your business.
Facebook Ads are powerful because they allow you to really dig deeper into clients’ interests. You can basically tell Facebook to go find ladies between the ages of 35-45, who are married, love lingerie, and love paying for photography!
Does that sound like a person who’d book you for a boudoir session? YUP!
Facebook ads don’t cost a ton, either. $10-$15 per day is enough to build a six-figure studio. This extra effort will pay off tenfold for you in the end!
CRM & Automation
CRM is an acronym for customer relationship management and includes programs like Salesforce, Dubsado, Tave, Active Campaign, 17hats, and Honeybook. CRMs help business owners manage communication with potential and current clients. Remember, the goal of social media marketing is to take inquiries from potential clients to clients who will pay for your service.
Having an organized way to follow up is key! Having your followup exist on automation is even more powerful. It’s important now while you’re getting started and even more important to have your system rolling like a well-oiled machine. This form of management will have you booked out months in advance. The fortune is in the follow-up!!
In terms of automation, one of my favorite tools (which literally saves me hundreds of hours a year) is Zapier. Zapier is basically a go-between all the software my business uses. It connects my inbox to my calendar, my calendar to my CRM, my leads into my CRM, and helps me manage my follow-ups and create automatic replies.
My rule is if I have to do it more than twice, it needs to be automated, and having automation allows me to grow my business constantly without having to physically be present every hour of the day.
The Bottom Line
By now you’ve discovered that there’s a multitude of ways to market your business and one platform simply won’t do. Organic marketing, social media marketing, marketing with other businesses, networking events, and conventions are all different ways to expand. The combination of these tools will be helpful in ensuring the goal of acquiring and retaining clients.
Happy hunting and best of luck to you on your journey to marketing your boudoir business!
Best of luck,
Owner of Corey Brandon Boudoir Photography